There are certain spots in our media ecosystem which endure despite their current inhabitant, not because of them. There is always a spot for some jailbait singer or personality, whether it be Britney Spears, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen or Miley Cyrus regardless of whether some of us think it’s sorta creepy. There is a similar spot in college football for the lightening-rod quarterback. It was Tim Tebow, then Johnny Football and now Jameis Winston (I add, parenthetically, that the trend is that the quality of those involved in both of these memes has been knocking the bejeezus out of Darwin’s Theory, but I digress.)
All anyone wants to talk about are these people, and these people are providing fodder. In both cases, the celebrity jailbait and the lightening-rod quarterback, it’s for increasingly depressing and distressing reasons. You may not have liked Tim Tebow or Britney Spears, but they were easily more tolerable than Jameis Winston or Miley Cyrus. Also, Britney and Timmy’s names didn’t cause spell check to have seizures every time you typed them.
Jameis Winston has his defenders, and he always will, but it’s an increasingly small group. Our 24-hour “embrace debate” style of covering athletes just wears us all down mentally. We just want to not hear about them anymore, or at least not for stupid stuff or worse, criminal behavior. But the beast will be fed. Over and over again.
At least on the weekends, there are games to watch.
Glance Game of the Weekend
Tennessee at (3) Ole Miss (TV: ESPN, 7:00 PM EST)
The Magnolia State continues to be at the epicenter of all that is fun with college football this year. With Mississippi State on the sidelines, Ole Miss plays the role of heavy at home against a Tennessee team that will be pesky. Ole Miss backed up their win against Alabama with another solid performance at Texas A&M, but are they ready to be the hunted? Do they let their guard down against a team that they should beat? If Tennessee is still in this game in the fourth quarter, it will be fascinating to see how the Rebels react.
Haterade Game of the Weekend
(4) Baylor at West Virginia (TV: FS1, 12:00 PM EST)
For the love of god, Baylor, you score a ton of points. But then again, you play utterly no defense (until the fourth quarter when you have to) and why anyone should put their faith in you running the table the season, I have no idea. That is why this is the Haterade game of the weekend. There is infinitely, INFINITELY, more to hate about the Florida State and Notre Dame matchup, but there are also reasons to watch that game other than hate. There is no reason to watch this game other than hate. If you at all believe in defense: hate this game. If you don’t like being trolled by flashy teams that you know will flame out before the Final Four: hate this game. If you don’t like having to find where FS1 is on your dial at noon: hate this game. But it’s worth watching, and hating, over your kegs and eggs.
Reservation Games of the Weekend
(21) Texas A&M at (7) Alabama (TV: CBS, 3:30 PM EST)
Come to see two ranked teams in the best conference in America and stay to watch Nick Saban yell and scream at Lane Kiffin. Texas A&M has been able to torment the vaunted Crimson Tide defense these past two years and if that system is able to do so again, the pressure will be on an inconsistent offense to deliver. That is compelling television. Alabama is the least stable they’ve been under the Saban regime. Relish that fact.
(14) Kansas State at (11) Oklahoma (TV: ESPN, 12:00 PM EST)
My bold prediction on the Two People Arguing podcast in reaction to Mulligan Saturday were two fold: A team that weekend would play in the Final Four and that the Final Four would be comprised of a Pac-12, SEC and Big-12 team and we’d be fighting over what to do with the fourth spot. Since I don’t believe in Baylor and I do believe a Big-12 team gets in, my money has to go on one of these two teams. This is an elimination game. Elimination games are fun. Flip back and forth between this and Baylor when you’re sick of being trolled by Baylor.
(5) Notre Dame at (2) Florida State (TV: ABC, 8:00 PM EST)
My god, the rage I have about this game. We’re all sick of Jameis Winston. Notre Dame is just obnoxiously self-reverential and neither of these two teams has been all that good on the field this year and yet both are going to make the Final Four if they run the table. The best part about this game is that it eliminates one of these two monsterous pains in the ass from the conversation for the rest of the year. It’s appointment TV for that reason alone. Grab your adult beverages, get on Twitter and let the jokes rip, America. You’ve worked hard all week. You deserve it.
Fancy Writer Quote Of The Moment
Life has to be encountered with a mixture of sheer ignorance and blind faith. Sheer ignorance because you can’t ever know what will happen. Ever. And blind faith that this time the roll of the dice will bring you luck.
Enjoy the weekend. May you be lucky in whatever it is you’re doing.